Health News #9: Overfat American Men, Carbohydrate Intolerance & Macro-Managing Meals

Health News #9: Overfat American Men, Carbohydrate Intolerance & Macro-Managing Meals

Overfat American men

Does your waist measure more than half your height?

If so, you may be part of the global overfat pandemic, recently found to be even more prevalent in developed countries where up to 90 percent of adult males.

The problem is particularly pervasive in the English-speaking countries of the United States and New Zealand, but also in Iceland and even Greece where people are generally thought to be healthy.

The term overfat refers to the presence of excess body fat that can impair health, and may include even normal-weight non-obese individuals. Excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, increased morbidity and mortality, and reduced quality of life.

A recent rise in the incidence of abdominal adiposity, the unhealthiest form of excess body fat, has been observed in both adults and children, indicating a direct link to insulin-resistance, the body’s natural propensity to convert and store carbohydrate foods as fat.

The relationship between the overfat condition and poor health is a spectrum or progression in which the vicious cycle of excess body fat, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation lie at one end, causing abnormal blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and glucose, and elevated blood pressure, which then produces a variety of common diseases at the other end.

Many physically active people, including professional athletes in various sports and active U.S. military personnel, also may fall into the overfat category.
Researchers recommend taking a measure of the waistline at the level of the belly button and comparing it to height: The waist measure should be less than half a person’s height. READ MORE

Carbohydrate Intolerance 

As a chronic condition, CI continues to worsen worldwide: of all age groups, obesity is growing most rapidly in children.  Unfortunately, the early signs and symptoms of CI, while well-recognized by some researchers and clinicians, are ignored by too many health practitioners. Traditional medicine considers these as separate, isolated conditions

Carbohydrate Intolerance: Its Spectrum and Stages

The progression of CI closely follows Selye’s three-stage model of the general adaptation syndrome. Stages of CI:

In Stage 1 of CI, the earliest signs and symptoms of dysfunction may begin to appear. These may be very subtle, but can be uncovered through a good history-taking process.

In Stage 2 of CI there are often more numerous and well-defined signs and symptoms.This allows the condition to be more easily assessed from history, physical evaluations and laboratory tests. Dietary and other lifestyle interventions at this stage can play a key role in reversing CI, but are also often overlooked.

In Stage 3 of CI, clear disease conditions can develop. These include heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are five of the most common causes of death in the U.S. The main feature of CI is the trio of insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and increased body fat.

The Stress Connection

The brain and body respond to physical, biochemical and mental-emotional stressors through a mechanism called the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.
The adrenal glands, which help mediate the stress response through the production of the hormone cortisol, can become impaired with too much stress.
Dysregulation of the HPA axis can also disturb one’s mental-emotional state. A common and perhaps primary trigger of CI is an excess consumption of moderate- and high-glycemic, processed and refined carbohydrates.

Mental-Emotional Symptoms and CI

Various aspects of CI have been shown to have significant adverse impacts on brain function. The brain relies on stable blood sugar for proper function, CI can significantly impact a person’s mental and emotional state. An early symptom of CI can include depression.Hyperactivity, aggression and anger in children. High insulin levels have particularly been correlated with attention deficit disorder (ADD), violence and early alcohol abuse.

CI and Exercise

An understanding of CI is of paramount importance to all those who exercise. A well-functioning aerobic system improves circulation, helps the immune system, supports anaerobic muscles, protects joints, ligaments, tendons and bones, and aids other functions.

Carbohydrate intolerance impairs metabolism, reducing fat-burning. Impaired fat-burning and increased fat storage prevents the aerobic system from providing the body with reliable and nearly unlimited energy over the long-term. This can also raise exercise heart rate at the same power output, increasing the risk for overtraining.

Addressing the Full Spectrum of CI

Lowering dietary carbohydrate intake while raising healthy fats is a successful therapy for various components of CI, even for serious, chronic conditions. One important recommendation for everyone with CI is the elimination of all refined carbohydrates including processed flour and sugar and the intake of healthy dietary fats must be increased to maintain caloric balance.

Most are induced or influenced by diet, and respond well to some degree of dietary carbohydrate restriction. The notion of CI also helps individuals in all walks of life better understand how food immediately impacts their physical, biochemical and mental-emotional health, and to become more proactive in their own program of preventive care. READ MORE

Macro-Managing Meals

Societal shift in carbohydrate, fat and protein intake behind overfat epidemic.

We have become obsessed with calories in particular, despite the fact that the long-term success of calorie-counting diets have been shown to be a dismal failure. Studies show people who follow them for three to five years actually gain weight.

The food we eat plays a more important role in overall health than does fitness and exercise. Another unhealthy trend is the misinformation that the overfat epidemic is due to reduced levels of activity. That it’s OK to eat junk food as long as you exercise.

The American Heart Association has shown that many children can’t run as far or fast as their parents did. In fact, in a one-mile run, today’s children are about a minute and a half slower than their peers 30 years ago.

While low-fat foods sometimes appear to make sense to prevent higher levels of body fat, it’s actually metabolically illogical. That’s because low-fat meals usually mean increased consumption of refined carbohydrates. Up to half of these carbs turn to fat and go into storage. T

The NHANES study found that the increased consumption of carbohydrates from 1974 to 2000 was significant. In men, it rose from about 40 percent to almost 50 percent of total calories, and in women, carbohydrate intake rose from 45 percent to 52 percent.

The developing consensus, without adjusting for an individual’s specific needs, is listed below.

High carb diet: >45 percent, 30 percent for fat and 25 percent for protein.
Moderate carb diet: 26-45 percent, 35 percent fat and 30 percent protein.
Low carb diet: 25 percent, 45 percent fat and 30 percent protein.
Very low carb (ketogenic) diet: 10 percent, 65 percent fat and 25 percent protein.

Two important points:

There is no minimum daily requirement for carbohydrates (unlike fat and protein).

For very low-carb/ketogenic diet, most individuals require between 30-50 grams of carbs and may have to reduce protein to 20 percent. Individuals will have to take responsibility for their own health by making these important adjustments and implement healthy eating. READ MORE

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